There are several basic methods for detecting tire issues before they become harmful. Look around your automobile in good light, inspecting each tire. Try checking them for: excessive or insufficient air pressure, alignment or balance issues, steering or suspension problems, and if you observe uneven wear, your tires may need to be rotated.
Five Warnings That It's Time to Get New Tires
There are some signs of worn-out tires that you need to pay attention to. Since tires make touch with the road or ground, they are the most vital component of your vehicle's safety system. And because they're so important, you should always ensure your car has durable tires. Here are some common signs;
When There are Spalls in Between the Tire's Sections
When tires get old, the rubber dries out. Hairline fractures between tread blocks, on the shoulder, and along the sidewalls are common. The sun's ultraviolet radiation causes dry rot. Tire replacement becomes necessary when the cracks get so large that rubber can be peeled off or a pen's ballpoint may be inserted.
When You See Cuts or Bumps
Rubber with nicks and scratches is fine, but one with a bulge or a cut should be replaced. This typically results from hitting the curb or going over a huge pothole. Anything sharp enough to cut the road surface, such as broken glass or vandalism, should not be driven on.
They Just Don't Grip
Even on dry pavement, some brand-new tires can make driving feel like you're on ice. The primary function of tires is to make you feel secure while driving. Even brand-new summer tires on a car not intended for use in the winter will not provide adequate traction.
When the Tires are Expired
A set of tires will "expire" six years from the date of manufacturing. Every tire has a small four-digit number near the bead on the sidewall. The first two digits indicate the week of the year it was produced, while the last two indicate the year. Tires should be replaced if they are older than six years from the date of manufacture.
Visible Fabric Cords or Steel
Kevlar, cotton, or synthetic fabric strands are utilized to help your tire maintain its shape and strength when fabric cables or steel are visible inside your tire. Steel cords are essential because they assist in maintaining the tire's form and add rigidity where needed most, like the bead. These are essential to the tire's construction, and their visibility indicates serious damage. You've likely driven on the tire despite its risky state because you overlooked the earlier warning indications.
Tire Replacement Indicators or Wear Bars
Wear bars are a welcome sight when it's time to swap out a set of tires. Tire wear bars, sometimes called tread wear indicator bars, are an excellent tool for gauging the overall condition of your tires. You can use them as a guide to determine if your tires need replacing or if they already meet the minimum tread depth required by law.
What's the Purpose of Wear Bars?
There are little elevated bars called tread wear indicator bars embedded in the grooves of your tires, in between the tread lines. Sensors are strategically placed at various locations around the tire to determine if your tread is wearing evenly. The tread wear bars are there to briefly give you an idea of how much life remains in your tires.
Tires with deeper tread grooves are more stable in wet situations, offer superior traction and handling, and are more precise when cornering. You may quickly lose your bearings without it. That's why checking the wear bars on your tires regularly is crucial.
Having reached the minimum tread depth required by law, your tires are no longer safe to use. Running your finger horizontally across the tire wear bars is one approach to gauge their condition. It's time to get new tires when the wear bar rubs on your finger just as evenly as the tread.
How to Test Your Tire's Tread
If you can't find a wear bar on your tire or aren't sure what to look for, here are a couple of additional ways to check the tread on your tires.
Use a Tread Depth Indicator
You can use a tread depth tester to achieve highly accurate tread measurements. Most automotive stores sell them for a few dollars. You can also use a ruler with 1/16th-inch markings or millimeter measurements. Simply insert the ruler into one of the grooves and measure from the tread's base to its present level. Any tire that is 1/16 inch (1/16 inch = around 1.6 millimeters) or less should be replaced.
Try the Penny Test
The penny test is straightforward. Hold a dime upside down with Lincoln's head on it. Place it between the treads in one of the grooves. If you can see Lincoln's entire head, your tread has worn and should be changed. Your tires may still have some tread left if the top of his head is half-co. You may have to replace your tires more often, but preventing an accident is worth it.